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Mumbai gets a ‘super restaurant’ with Zorawar Kalra’s La Mar

Spread across 18,000 sq ft, Mumbai's latest hotspot, La Mar, is divided into three sections with the interiors inspired by the sea.
La Mar

With multiple restaurants mushrooming in Mumbai, what else can the Maximum city accommodate to draw eyeballs? A “super restaurant” as it is rightly termed, La Mar is the brainchild of culinary veteran Zorawar Kalra—the man behind Masala Library, Pa Pa Ya, Farzi Café—and High Bliss Hospitality, a joint venture between Percept—the ones behind the EDM festival Sunburn—and luxury real-estate developer Panchshil.

What is a “super restaurant?” Sprawled across an 18,000 sq ft, La Mar seamlessly combines an easy, all-day alfresco setting, with a Santorini-esque interior, and a high-energy cocktail bar with electronic music. Nestled in The National Sports Club Of India (NSCI) in Worli, La Mar has three different sections.

La Mar

(from left to right) Zorawar Kalra, Hummus. Photos: La Mar

The alfresco section has a laid-back Mediterranean vibe with cabanas and multiple potted plants adding a splash of green. The lower level of the space has a Greek vibe with a white and blue-coloured interior, almost making it a fine-dine experience in Santorini. La Mar translates to “the sea” in Spanish. Thus, this section of the restaurant is a tribute to the magic of the sea. The wall partition across the spacious floor resembles waves with its curved design, mimicking the sea. With the seating also in the shade of blue, it is evident that the colour of the sea is the dominant palette. The upstairs area is the bar. With opulent interiors, the first floor has reflected surfaces, contemporary lighting design fixtures, a massive island bar that catches the eye, private seating zones, a dance floor, and a DJ booth. The problem with most places is the restaurant turning into a party place post 10 pm when they blast the music at a volume where you can’t talk. So, you either leave the place by that time or give in to the loud music. This bifurcation in sections at La Mar is truly a blessing for the ones who just want to enjoy a quiet dinner.

As part of the “super restaurant” tag, Kalra has strategically blended Sunburn’s DJs and EDM artistes as part of the programming at La Mar for the guests enjoying the bar section.

La Mar

Photo: La Mar

Rapid Review

Executive Chef Yalcin Kaya and Chef Sabby were the force behind this European menu featuring mostly small plates, tapas, and flatbreads. Executive pastry Chef Dhriti Mankame was the brainchild behind the dessert menu. The main course or the large plates in the vegetarian section included a variety of pasta—essentially labelled as white, red, green, yellow, gold, and brown which was the non-vegetarian option. But that didn’t bother us because the flatbread was more than enough for two people.

The Great

I am a carb-loving girl. So, naturally, I ordered two bread dishes for the table. The vegetarian options for flatbread were impressive enough to want to try them all but I ordered the Funghi Trufato (₹1500). Truffle and black garlic fromage cream, foraged mushrooms, caramalised and red onions, gorgonzola, salt water walnuts, and cold press olive oil on top of a freshly baked piece of bread. The umami flavour from the mushrooms and truffle, along with the sweetness of caramelised onions and a slight crunch, thanks to the walnuts with a soft, warm bread was enough to satiate my taste buds for the night.

La Mar

(from left to right) Funghi Trufato, Buttered King Oyster Pincho. Photos: Nidhi Lodaya

From the tapas section, I ordered the Buttered King Oyster Pincho (₹400) which had brown butter and olive oil emulsion, fire-grilled king oyster mushroom, and summer truffle on top of circular toasties. For someone who loves mushrooms and the truffle taste, this was perfect. Unlike most places, the truffle didn’t overpower the entire dish and instead elevated it with its prominent flavour. The fact that it was bite-sized also made it fun to eat. The only thing that made us a little hesitant to try this mushroom dish immediately was the lingering smell after accidentally having a calamari dish served on our vegetarian-only table.

The Good

The second bread dish on the table was a Truffle and Cheese Pocket Bread (₹1500) which had Chèvre de Fromage, fresh truffle, and fresh press olive oil. While this may read to be a combination of the first two dishes—it wasn’t. Once again, the bread was baked to perfection with a cheese filling that resembled a cream cheese texture and taste. While I did enjoy it and it was exactly how it was mentioned in the menu, I would still enjoy it if it had some veggies to go with the bread and cream cheese kind of taste.

Out of the pasta options, what caught my eye the most was the Yellow one which was a parmesan and sun-dried tomato agnolotti with saffron and garlic velouté. Unfortunately, this was not available so the next one had to be Green. No, it wasn’t just pesto. The Green pasta (₹900) had orzo pasta, with leek, sage and celery pesto, and Stracciatella cheese. It was topped with a few pine nuts that gave it the nutty crunch that the dish required. It was a comforting plate of food but I tend to like my pasta, especially orzo—resembling risotto rice—to be drier than the consistency of this dish.

La Mar

(from left to right) Style Hollandaise, The Green pasta. Photos: Nidhi Lodaya

La Mar has an exhaustive drinks menu with multiple cocktail and spirit options. I was suggested the Style Hollandaise (₹950) which was a gin-based drink with grapefruit, thyme, and citrus. One sip was enough to know how potent the drink was—no complaints about this, though. Considering it was grapefruit, it was a tad bit too sweet for my taste buds.

The Miss

The third bread dish for the night was the Smørrebrød (₹900). This small plate included cream cheese and apple slaw, cilantro curry leaf and chilli pesto, roasted baby potatoes, and ribbon chips. Why it didn’t cut it for me was because the bread was a bit difficult to cut into a piece, and there was too much happening on this open sandwich.

La Mar

(from left to right) Smørrebrød, Brown Butter and Olive Oil. Photos: Nidhi Lodaya

Dessert was the Brown Butter and Olive Oil (₹850) which was a brown butter and chocolate chip cake, pumpkin olive oil mousse, and textured ginger. While the cake resembled a typical home-style pound cake and was good in itself, the pumpkin olive oil mousse didn’t live up to the mark. Mostly bland and had a weird texture with the otherwise good cake.